Reading Resolutions for 2015
In recent years, depressing statistics have emerged on the state of literacy skills and reading in the UK. In her mission to give children the best start when it comes to learning to read and loving books from birth, early reading expert, Emily Guille-Marrett (Reading Fairy), suggests five reading resolutions that could make a real difference to your child or children in your local community this year.
Become a Reading Volunteer
“1 in 8 children leave UK primary schools unable to read to the required standards.” Beanstalk
In Kent and Medway, the number of children leaving primary schools unable to read to the required level was reported as one in six in 2013. Born to Read is an initiative created in collaboration with Save the Children and reading charity, Beanstalk, to recruit and train volunteers to work in primary schools to help children who have fallen behind with their reading. Beanstalk reading volunteers work on a one-to-one basis and together they read, play, and talk. Visit www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk if you are interested in volunteering or making a donation.
Become Tech Savvy
“Today’s children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices.” The American Academy of Pediatrics
Evidence has shown that excessive technology use can affect a child’s attention and learning. Currently there is plenty of evidence to suggest that talking and reading to a young child is preferable to screen time. However, for much older children, especially teenagers, it may be wise to encourage them to read books on screen than not read at all. Whatever you decide to do, make 2015 the year you become savvier about screen time and the quality of content read on screen. There are some publishers making interesting, quality on-screen reading apps for children such as www.nosycrow.com. Reading Fairy follows the evidence from the American Academy of Pediatrics and does not recommend any reading on screen for under two years.
Read Bedtime Stories
“Children who receive bedtime stories from their parents as infants perform better than those who go without.” Institute of Education
We are time-poor and have many distractions, but reading bedtime stories has a direct impact on a child’s success. If you aren’t currently reading bedtime stories with your child, consider a New Year’s resolution of just 10 minutes a day, as recommended by the National Literacy Trust. It’s not just infants though; a study by Oxford University Press showed that children of nine need bedtime stories to boost academic achievement, although fewer than ever are read to at night.
Bring Back Nursery Rhymes
“1 in 4 adults in the UK are unable to remember an entire nursery rhyme from start to finish.” Research by UK television channel, Cartoonito
Singing traditional Nursery Rhymes such as “Little Miss Muffet” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” creates a crucial foundation for learning to read – even in pregnancy. Nursery rhymes help children to hear the sound structure in words, learn a rich and varied vocabulary, and develop a curiosity for language. Children also experience story features and structures necessary to draw on when learning to read and write.
Celebrate Books in Kent
Our county’s regional theatres often host performances based on children’s books in a bid to bring favoured stories to life. Most exciting are the literary festivals that take place across the county including Wise Words (Canterbury); WhitLit (Whitstable); Sevenoaks Literary Celebration; Folkestone; Rochester and many more. Moreover, with Kent’s rich literary heritage, keep an eye out at museums for events too.
Early reading expert and mum of two young boys, Emily Guille-Marrett, from Whitstable in Kent, created Reading Fairy. For more than 12 years, Emily worked in publishing, producing books to help children learn to read for the likes of Ladybird and Pearson Education. With friends regularly approaching her for advice on how best they could support their child’s reading, Emily decided to put her experience to good use and launched Reading Fairy earlier this year.
Reading Fairy classes develop crucial building blocks for learning to read from 0-5 years and its unique programme is based on the latest research and best early years practice. It believes in learning through play, and nurturing a love of reading.